Per Huskie Wire, these players that appeared on last year's roster are no longer with the team:
DE/FB Anthony Antonacci
LB Kendal Farlow
CB Kordero Hunter
S Jeff Fontana
DB Ricardo Patton
DE Maurice Coon
S Justin Stewart
RB Brandon Lewis
OL Jake Wertz
FB Connor Krisch
Antonacci, Fontana and Stewart all dealt with injuries throughout their careers and, from a health standpoint, it was a better decision to walk away.
I'll have to agree with John Sahly on that last point. FB Anthony Antonacci fell to the injury bug with an ACL injury in 2007, S Jeff Fontana hurt his foot in the spring game last year and had to have surgery and was out for the year. S Justin Stewart didn't even play in a game last year.
LB Kendal Farlow was a player that just kind of "appeared" on our roster last year. He's off the roster right now, but I'm thinking he could possibly return if he gets his academics straight. He had offers from both Nebraska and Iowa State coming out of HS, but had some trouble with his ACT.
Walk-on CB Kordero Hunter wasn't even on the Indy Bowl roster. Don't know what happened to Ricardo Patton, son of NIU's basketball coach with the same name. Never even heard of walk-on RB Brandon Lewis.
DE Maurice Coon was an interesting character out of Lakeland, FL. He now attends NAIA Central Methodist University in Fayette, MO according to his Myspace. His reason for departure is unknown and wasn't on the Indy Bowl roster either.
OL Jake Wertz had a tough time breaking in to the starting lineup and FB Connor Krisch had the same problem as the Fullback position was loaded last year.
Departed players on scholarship
2008 Class: Coon, 2006 Class: Stewart, 2005 Class: Antonacci, Fontana & Wertz
That's it for all the players that have left the program. Kill also decided to move some players around to positions of need on defense:
Fullback Victor Jacques will now try linebacker, but Kill hasn't ruled out a return to fullback. Kill was high on Jacques before last season, but Kyle Skarb and Connor Flahive emerged ahead of Jacques. Defensive backs Spencer Williamson and David Pratt have moved to linebacker.
The online roster has been updated somewhat with the correct years for the players for this upcoming season. Here are the additions for the spring roster that weren't on the Independence Bowl roster:
DL Kyle Jenkins - JR
OL Jerry Rigo - RS FR
DB Chris Smith - JR
DB Donald Smith - JR
P Josh Wilber - JR
Jenkins, the Smith twins and Josh Wilber all have enrolled early for spring ball. Donald Smith and Jerry Rigo are both walk-ons. Rigo redshirted last year while working to become academically eligible.
Oh and that story about Lovie Smith's kid walking-on to play for us?
First, one of the hot topics of conversation from the offseason was the enrollment of Miles Smith. Smith, the son of Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith, was a preferred walk-on linebacker at Missouri before enrolling this winter at NIU. Now, it appears Miles Smith wants to get an early jump-start on his own coaching career, as he is a volunteer assistant in the football operations office.
"It's good," NIU coach Jerry Kill said. "He's a student and it gives him a chance to be a part of the game."
I guess that mystery is solved.
Morning practice Thurs and then practice under the lights on Friday night. It's like high school football all over again.